Monday, February 28, 2011

Myths for Monday -- Caballo Cojo & the Vaquero del Otro Mundo

In the Department of Bolívar (as well as other Atlantic Coast Departments), there are two myths related to horses and riders. This makes sense because Bolívar's main industry is livestock. Both myths tell of scary emissaries of the devil.

#1 The Caballo Cojo (Limping Horse)

In villages in the Center and South of the Department of Bolívar, stories are told that on dark nights a horse can be heard whinnying and galloping across the countryside. The sound of the hoof beats are said to be terrifying and without equal. People who have heard the sound, have also often seen an amazing sight -- a black horse with penetrating, glowing, red eyes --whose presence leaves them frozen and dumb. It is in this frozen and mute state that they will then see the horse, which has only 3 legs, run past. Behind the apparition, will remain a nauseating smell of sulphur.

#2 The Vaquero del Otro Mundo (Cowboy from another Word)

In several of the towns and villages of the department of Bolívar, people claim that on clear nights, when the moon is at or near full, one can hear the roar, groans, and clamor of a herd of cattle running across the plain. Above the noise, a cowboy can be heard singing the most beautiful cowboy song ever heard. When people go to look and see who is coming, they see not a heard of cattle, not a group of cowboys, but a single rider, alone on a black horse with a brilliant saddle and reigns of shiny gold. As the rider gets closer, fear and dread strike the heart of the person watching. Then, there is an attack of goosebumps as the person realizes that the rider has but a black face with yellow glowing eyes. The rider's unworldy cackle is heard above the din, and as he rides by the person, his gold teeth catch the gleam of the moon and glow brilliantly. Behind him are heard the voices of the damned yelling for help and the wind becomes cold -- while some also report that a dust devil appears.

After the Vaquero leaves, some say that anyone who has seen him will have amazing good luck. Others say that it causes extreme bad luck -- not a very reliable omen. Yet, it counts for our Myth for Monday...

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